T Nation

Crave Carbs At Night?


Every night I get a craving for carbs

Ice cream, cookies, mac and cheese, pasta

you name it, it sounds good
during the day this craving isn't really there, but at night its on full throttle.

However, T-Nation for the most part says 'dont eat carbs at night' It seems like my body is asking for carbs at night. Possibly, an insulin spike followed by a crash would put me to bed.

Does anyone else get a carb craving before bed? If so, why then are we not supposed to eat carbs at night if our bodies desire carbs?

BTW-goals are the usual, get stronger and bigger and lost fat...all at the same time


Yesss!!!! (Are you my twin brother?)

I'll sit here with you and wait for the answer, if you don't mind.


I think everyone feels this way to a degree. We want food before bed, probably because our body subconsciously knows that it will be starved for the next 6-9 hours.


If you're craving carbs at night maybe it's because you're not eating enough during the day. Usually if I start craving foods it's because I'm not overeating enough clean foods.
And by the way I don't know if you're body is craving carbs so much as your mind is :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You're craving junk food at night. Sounds like you're on a diet that you don't want to be on. Did you recently start eating healthier? It takes a while for your mind to stop craving crap, and until it does most cravings come at night. Learn to shut them out.


I just got done reading "Gironda Gems" which has a bunch of Q&A from Vince Gironda. And someone asked Vince this same question.... his reply was that they were not getting enough healthy fats in their diet. So thats what Vince thinks about those sugar cravings :-).


You don;t want carbs at night because they cause a spike in insulin levels and since your metabolism is lower later in the day, this leads to more fat storage. Carbs in the morning and fat at night. Unless you lift in the evening, then you would want carbs in the PWO shake and the following meal.


Interesting... My cravings are not for sugar (I'm not a sweet junkie by any means), but for carbs like rice or bread. Even if I eat a huge chicken salad (with avocados) I still feel hungry.

And this has nothing to do with dieting, it's always happened to me. I started eating healthy about 3 years ago, and don't crave junk food; I always thought these evening carb cravings would subside, but they never have. I consume plenty of fish/flaxseed oils, but maybe I need to take more.


Here's a solution I got from Poliquin:

Add a tablespoon of glutamine to about 2oz heavy cream (35-40%) and shoot it back. It works great!


Vince was ahead of his time! :wink:

I was going to suggest the same thing. More healthy fats.

In fact, the OP would benefit from eating a snack before bed consisting of protein and good fats. It will keep him full and satisfied and stop the cravings.

I've found that a peanut butter protein shake is one of the best snacks. However, even some cottage cheese with some pineapple works. Or a protein shake and some raw nuts (almonds or walnuts).

Try this shake straight from Precision Nutrition (I made a few minor changes - I added more butterscotch and peanut butter than originally recommended so you can actually taste it):

1 scoop Metabolic Drive
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/3 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp butterscotch fat free/sugar-free jello pudding (powder)

Mix this in a blender with some water and ice until smooth. Take some Greens+ with it to make it a supershake (I take the caps instead of the powder).

It tastes awesome, fills you up and takes care of any cravings!

Even if you are someone that hates cottage cheese, you won't ever taste it or know that it's in the shake. But it truly makes the shake because it gives it a creamy texture and holds everything together.


Hawkson, it might be interesting to see how your body responded to supplementing wit 5-HTP at night, to see whether reduced or eliminated your cravings. 5-HTP is derived from tryptophan (an amino acid). From there it is converted into serotonin, and the pineal gland then converts serotonin into melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.

Since carbs raise serotonin levels, too, it may just be your body's way of encouraging you to eat things that will help you sleep.

That said, all the advice thus far is excellent, and I'd definitely give it some consideration.

The only caveat for supplementing with 5-HTP is that it should probably not be taken by anyone taking an SSRI or antidepressant ... at least not without making sure your doc and/or pharmacist are on board with it, anyway.


I have been wanting to ask someone that uses "Greens" - Does the veggie taste come thru in the shakes?


Nate, would that 1 tbsp of butterscotch jello be prepared jello? (that is, not the powder.) Do you normally just have butterscotch jello hanging around your fridge? :slightly_smiling:


I had the same problem. Every night I really wanted black coffee and ice cream -- most of the time I'd indulge. I wasn't putting on fat from it and my sleep didn't seem particularly compromised, so I was able to justify my continued habit. Eventually, I just got sick of ignoring that little nagging doubt about the habit and just stopped indulging. I can't say I miss it at all.

The main things I did to destroy this habit was upping the fish oil and olive oil, doubling my protein intake to 2g/lb mass and removing sugar entirely from my diet. Blood sugar is lowest at night in anyone and this difference is made more severe when there are erratic glucose levels throughout the day. If you can minimize the drama of the blood sugar fluctuations, the cravings will probably just go away.


That is interesting. Thanks.


That recipe is from JB's Precision Nutrition, and it is awesome. The Jello he is talking about is the instant sugar free powder, unless I have been making the shake wrong.


Yeah the cravings suck but a lot of people get them, just suck it up and not eat. Doing this for a while and not giving in helped me and now I dont like to eat at all at night.


I agree with stabalizing blood sugar.

Upping complex carbs in the morning and afternoon is simple, and larger quantities of protien at night will help fill you up.

I get hungry every night. Not carb cravings, but everything cravings. And I still have some carbs, not none.


Yes, it's the fat free sugar free jello [b]POWDER[/b] that you add to the shake. You don't prepare the jello ahead of time. Just add a few teaspoons or tablespoons to the shake for the flavoring.


Now that is something I can do :slightly_smiling:

If I had to prepare the damn jello ahead of time to use it, I wasn't going to drinking this any time soon.

Thanks Nate!